FRY I - EP 1

Duration: 25-Sep-1991 to 30-May-1992

In response to the violence between the different ethnic groups that erupted following the territorial disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and the subsequent invasions of Croatia by the Serb-controlled Yugoslav National Army (YNA), the Security Council imposed an arms imports embargo on all parties to the conflict in Yugoslavia on 25 September 1991 (UNSCR 713). The resolution called for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict and urged all parties to abide by the 17 and 22 September cease-fire agreements. Following the end of the independence moratorium, Croatia officially severed all state and legal ties with SFRY on 8 October 1991 and the fighting with Serb forces, including the YNA, intensified. UNSCR 724 (15 December 1991) requested mandatory reporting on the implementation of the arms embargo and established a Sanctions Committee overseeing the monitoring of sanctions implementation. UNSCR 727 (8 January 1992) reaffirmed the UNSCR 713 and 724 arms imports embargo and decided to apply it, in accordance with Paragraph 33 of Secretary-General report S/23363, to all areas that have been part of Yugoslavia. A UN-sponsored cease-fire agreement between Croatia and the Serbian forces was signed on 2 January 1992 (Sarajevo Agreement, also known as the Vance Plan) and the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was established in February 1992 (UNSCR 743) to ensure conditions for peace talks and create protected areas in Croatia.

On 15 October 1991, the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the republic's sovereignty from SFRY and a separate Assembly was founded on 24 October by Bosnian Serbs led by Radovan Karadzic. The Assembly proclaimed the Republic of the Serb People of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 9 January 1992 (renamed Republika Srpska in August 1992). On 29 February and 1 March 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina held an independence referendum boycotted by Bosnian Serbs and, following the overwhelmingly favorable vote of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats, formally declared independence from SFRY. Following US and European community recognition of the country's independence, on 7 April 1992, Bosnian Serbs severed ties with the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, declared their independence, and began the siege of Sarajevo, marking the beginning of the Bosnian War. The subsequent Bosnian Serb territorial conquests and ethnic cleansing throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina were enabled by a direct transfer of weaponry and Bosnian-Serb personnel from YNA and the smuggling of arms and goods from Serbia.

SFRY was formally dissolved on 27 April 1992 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), which claimed to present the sole legal successor to SFRY, was declared in its place by Serbia and Montenegro. Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina were internationally recognized and admitted into the United Nations on 22 May 1992.




Constrain access to arms by all parties to the conflict in support of the ceasefire agreements of 17 and 22 September 1991.


Signal to all parties to cease hostilities (the unacceptability of territorial change through the use of force).


Arms imports embargo on all parties of the Yugoslav conflict (applying to all areas that had been part of Yugoslavia).

No individual sanctions imposed.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions can have some non-discriminating impact on the general population, since they include arms embargoes, diplomatic sanctions, and/or restrictions on the conduct of particular activities or the export of specific commodities.

Sanctions Committee created 3 months after sanctions imposition, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Enforcement authorities specified.



Policy outcome

No coercive demands made in either UNSCR 713 or 724.

Sanctions contribution




Policy outcome

The arms embargo worked to the advantage of Serbia, given its own production capabilities and given that the embargo was imposed equally on the other parties.

Sanctions contribution

The Serbian regime was strengthened militarily and there was an escalation of violence throughout the region.



Policy outcome

Cutting off arms to cease hostilities, some stigmatization of Serbia.

Sanctions contribution

The arms embargo reinforced diplomatic pressure, the presence of a peacekeeping force (UNPROFOR), and threat of the use of force.



Increase in corruption and criminality, strengthening of authoritarian rule, rally round the flag effect, increase in human rights violation, harmful effects in neighboring states, humanitarian consequences, decline in the credibility and/or legitimacy of the UN Security Council, extending the conflict.



  • Imposes arms import embargo to Yugoslavia.



  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Requests MS reporting.



  • Reaffirms UNSCR 713 arms imports embargo and decides that it applies to all areas that have been part of Yugoslavia (in accordance with Paragraph 33 of Secretary-General report S/23363).



  • Adds UNSCR 713 arms imports embargo exemption for UN Protection Force [not under Chapter VII].


  • Establishes UN Protection Force (1 year).